A partnership between Harrogate College and Leeds City Council was established four years ago and has seen an influx of apprentices studying at different levels, learning a trade and progressing in the workplace.
“Harrogate College stands out a mile ahead of any other apprenticeship providers. They offer a fantastic service as the tutors are easily approachable and are constantly working alongside of us.” Andy Hall, Leeds City Council.
Having worked for Leeds City Council for 15 years, Andy has a wealth of experience to offer the apprentices and currently works alongside apprentices of all different levels.
Andy says: “We currently have 17 QCF apprentices attending Harrogate college and will be looking to interview for full time positions very shortly. Over the last four years in working with Harrogate College we have successfully gained 20 apprentices all at different levels. In total we have had 41 apprentices who studied at Harrogate College for a year and 20 have been successful in obtaining full time positions.
“The apprentices are a breath of fresh air and an inspiration. They bring new ideas to the team and in a short space of time, really start to benefit the community.
“Apprentices learn the skills at Harrogate College in a simple and easy to understand way in second to none facilities. These skills can then be implemented and honed in the workplace and the effects of such are tremendous.”
One apprentice who studies a Building Maintenance course at Harrogate College whilst working for Leeds City Council is Olivia Hall.
Olivia was academic at school and did exceptionally well in her GCSE’s and A Level exams, but didn’t quite feel that going to University would be for her. With this in mind, when an apprenticeship came up at her place of work, Leeds City Council, she gave up her full time job to become more hands on by learning a construction trade at Harrogate College.
“Olivia has a fantastic ‘get up and go’ outlook on life and is dedicated to achieving her future goal of becoming a quantity surveyor. She is determined to work her way up through the trade in order to achieve this.” Andy Hall says.
Olivia won Intermediate Apprentice of the Year on the basis of her mentor nominating her for overcoming the challenges she has faced in the workplace, volunteering on projects and generally having a ‘get up and go’ outlook on life.
Andy Hall explains: “It is great to have female apprentices as they will benefit the community by allowing the female population to feel more comfortable with a female operative taking care of a job in their homes. This will inevitably allow expansion in businesses and produces many more opportunities for women in trades.”
Olivia has since enquired about becoming an apprenticeship ambassador and regularly volunteers to visit events with other apprentices within Leeds City Council, in order to promote the pathways and encourage others to go down the same route.
Harrogate College enjoys a partnership with local radio station Stray FM, on which Olivia has been broadcasted talking about women in the construction industry, as she is already an ambassador, in her own right.